Beirne & Adam’s Vermont Camp Wedding

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

You know how every single week I have a new favorite wedding? Riiiggghhhtttt. Well, welcome to my new favorite. Bernie wrote me a sweet email about how my blog and her wedding style totally mesh, and heck yes they do! This wedding isn’t about the detail shots, or the favors, or the monogrammed aisle runner. This wedding is about wanting to leap through the screen of your computer so you can BE THERE, celebrating with them, right now.

And for all you planning couples out there, Bernie wrote that it was a long hard slog to figure out how to do a wedding that was totally “them,” but, boy did they ever. Which is to say, we all can do this thing! They did this whole fabulous wedding for $6,000, including renting a summer camp in Vermont for a whole weekend, so their friends and family could stay and hang out for FREE! What was the magic cost saving secret? Lots of hard work and research, of course, but also having family and friends pitch in and help with everything.
Their friends made the wedding cake, took the photos, and helped them decorate with farmers market flowers and fairy lights.
Bernie and Adam met as rock climbing instructors, and they wanted to have a wedding that really reflected who they were, their personalities, priorities, and values, which clearly included having a bunch of fun. The morning of their wedding everyone gathered to play croquet and bocce, and the couple encouraged people to wear old bridesmaid dresses, old prom dresses, or generally ridiculous outfits. That’s the bride in pink!
And here are the bride and the groom dancing.
Then the bride and the groom changed into wedding attire and headed down to the waterfront for the wedding.
You know how you’re suppose to give your photographer a shot list? Now I’m considering adding “David eating Meg’s nose” to ours.

Their rings were made by a friend of the family, Fire & Metal Jewelers, and I’m in love with them. The line on the rings is the outline of a mountain range that they hiked together.
Bernie and Adam were married in a Quaker ceremony. Afterwards, in keeping with the Quaker tradition, everyone present signed the marriage certificate, signifying their support for the marriage.
And then they partied long into the night. Which is my idea of happily ever after.

Photos By Kristine Larson

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit #NASTY

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  • ley

    I bet that wedding was a helluva lot more fun to go to than any $500,000 ballroom affair. I love it!

  • What a fun wedding! SO beautiful, and I love the Quaker tradition of everyone signing the marriage certificate. I wasn’t familiar with that. ALSO- wearing former bridesmaid gowns? HILARIOUS!

  • Aw, that mountain range detail is so romantic!

  • MWK

    ooh, did they tell you how they fit all the signatures on the certificate? My fiance is a Quaker and we really want to have everyone sign the certificate, but I have to figure out how to make that work in accordance with Oregon laws…

  • I loVermont!
    That’s not “Camp Aloha”, by any chance, is it? :)
    I’m sure there are a lot of awesome camps in Vermont…

  • Boo Southern California pricing. THIS is my dream wedding (but it must include some ADA-accessible cabins for the family). When I priced it out at a local camp it, well, cost quite a bit more than $6,000 to rent the camp for a weekend – more like $10,000 minimum (which includes most rooms and a weekend of meals, minus the wedding event catering.)

    Sigh. Now if only someone would donate all the other wedding accoutrement (photography, dress, tux, twinkle lights) I’d be in business…

  • thanks for the love Meg!
    Jessamyn- the camp is Farm & Wilderness- though I suspect most camps have a similar aesthetic.
    Anna- we did a legal marriage certificate at the JOP a few days before (major stress relief too) and then had a family friend (who’s made many wedding certificates for my family) make a traditional Quaker certificate with our vows, that everyone signed. I did a ton of research on Quaker wedding certificate artists -let me know if you need recommendations.

  • MWK

    Thanks Beirne! We are early in the planning stages but I appreciate the advice and will keep it in mind for sure!

  • So, I love the rings with the mountain range on them! Symbolic and pretty at the same time.

  • C

    Oh gosh, what a small Earlham world! Here I am Googling around about Quaker weddings since Matt G. and I are engage and lo and behold I find one for people I know from college. I’m glad you’re sharing your cool wedding online!

  • i like the mountain range very much.

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  • Anonymous

    I’d LOVE to get recommendations for Quaker wedding certificate! We’re getting married in August 09. Congratulations to you – what a wonderful wedding celebration you must have had! Terese

  • Anonymous

    I’m so interested in this type of wedding, it’s killing me! However, I went on the website and it mentioned that alcohol is not permited. I feel like a wedding isn’t a wedding without a few toasts. Is it true that they “partied through the night”, sober?

  • Anonymous(plural)- I'm not sure if you'll check this back, but here are some answers.
    Our wedding certificate was made by a friend of the family who does them professionally (Harry Forrest- I think the best options are to ask around either your Meeting, or the local Quaker Meeting- there's pretty much someone with the secret talent in every Meeting. If you're isolated from your Meeting, or aren't Quaker,
    has beautiful (and very reasonably priced) work that several of my friends have used and loved.

    As to the question about alcohol. We had a party at a local pub the night before for a friends and family who were so inclined, but did not have alcohol at the wedding (actually an incentive in picking the location). My husband doesn't really drink, but his family REALLY drinks, and I have a few important family members who are in recovery, or religiously opposed. Making it comfortable for everyone became too much to handle, and everything was great without it. We partied into the night with a bonfire, s'mores, guitars, and hot chocolate (and for some, their hangover from the night before).

  • angela

    What summer camp was it?

  • Kim

    stumbling upon this years after this was posted doing the same. I thought I spotted some Earlhamites in this wedding!